8.5.2005 Yapham

Two Browns, a short sticky red, 

a miss on the blue and Casuals are in the pink.


The ‘Brown Brothers’ brought the house down last Sunday at Yapham. First, elder brother Paul scored 96 not out, enabling The Casuals to post a score of 138 in a match shortened to 32 overs a side because of rain. Then it was younger brother Matthew’s turn, as he ripped the heart out of their top order with sweet pace. They could be “The Most Dangerous Combination Since Nitro and Glycerine”.

On a day that was windy, bitterly cold and as blue as blue could be, except for the storm that arrived from Middlesborough at 3:45 pm. No wonder Yorkshire used to beat the Windies up there, first game of the tour.

Actually, your correspondent thought the start of the game would be delayed, a  delusion which facilitated a long lunch in a passable hostelry just off the A19. Selected late on Friday evening, his transformation from spectator to player was never wholly complete. But, despite the late arrival and an obligation to leave early, he managed to squeeze in all The Casuals wickets and five of theirs.

Lockwood looked ring-rusty. Will a little better, but without timing. Both should improve with more games and drier tracks. Sam, taking the crease after tea, made it look so easy that Will was prompted to say something rather ungracious and emetic, whereupon, inconceivably, Sam missed a lob. The result was a small but extremely bloody gash adjacent to the lateral aspect of the right orbit, necessitating a visit to York & District Hospital Accident and Emergency Department.

Meanwhile, Nosser had been scoring fairly freely at the other end. Somewhat churlishly, your correspondent noticed a number of runs going begging wide of his leg stump. Attention to these opportunities would have ensured his hundred, given he was dropped four times and overthrown on at least one attempted runout.

Exit the wounded soldier, enter the cavalry. Stuart has once again wintered well. Four laps around the square and multiple practice shots in the changing room is a routine learned at Yorkshire. Whether it will make them play better remains to be seen, but it appears to be enough for Stuart. According to umpire Matthew Brown he batted miraculously. “It was a miracle he didn’t get out”, said Matt, disbelief etched across his face. Stuart was there ’til the end, enabling and supporting Nosser to just miss his hundred (1).

Yapham fielded a youth side in helmets, but this did not deter Matt. Pitched up at pace, his bowling is a test for any friendly cricketer. He and Bill were well into them as your correspondent prepared to leave. Will, acting captain, may have had his first change bowlers warming up. It probably turned out a comfortable victory.

A word about tea. Great. This from our Chairman who regards tea as the most exquisite of The Casuals’ cricketing skills. Was he referring to the delicious diapason of subtle delivery, the grand gamut of witty reply or the sonorous spectrum of The Casuals’ superb line and length?

The concert was by guitarist, John Etheridge, of whom Sting once said (The Guardian 1981), “I never wanted to be a star, just a highly respected musician like John Etheridge”. An eclectic musician, he would appreciate the affinity of Almondbury Casuals’ young guns with Dan Ackroyd and James Belushi – “The Most Dangerous Combination Since Nitro and Glycerine” (www.imdb.com/title/tt0080455/) (2). I can’t see them doing “Theme from Rawhide”, or maybe I can.


(1)  I know its a split infinitive.

(2)  A Blues Brothers website.


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